Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March memories, 2008, with swell food, my sons, and my little Mama.

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Lamont got invited to participate in the Chef's Blackbox Competition, and he asked his brother Leland to be his assistant--they've worked together many years at the same restaurant, several ones, in fact, starting in Jackson, Mississippi, and ending up here in Portland, Oregon, at 3 Doors Down Cafe where they both worked in 2008. Decision-making time meant looking around at what's available and making notes for a three-course menu. What to select from the ingredients to prepare dishes for the judges at the Taste of Tillamook competition held March 15, 2008, in Tillamook, Oregon. That's Lamont on the right, Leland on the left. The secret ingredients, yet to be revealed.


Available produce, fruit, spices. Lamont selected prawns and cod from the secret ingredients--I don't remember what else was available, nor do I remember what the competing chef chose. The teams had one hour to prep and cook their three dishes.


Leland works on leeks; Lamont works on salsa verde.


Leland works on fennel; Lamont works on salsa verde.


Leland and the mandoline slicer, part of prepping for the salad.


Prep, an important and on-going step to creating tasty plates.


Leland and the spinach. I'm not sure what Lamont is opening in this photo.


Busy cook.


Left hands.


Still busy cook.

Taste of Tillamook 08

Right hands.

Taste of Tillamook 08

Memorable appetizer--sautéed prawns (a secret ingredient), freshly made salsa verde, and sautéed leeks with bacon.


Memorable salad--quarter-sized cucumber slices surround a mound of match-stick-sliced fennel and Granny Smith apple, topped with paper-thin slices of red onion.


Memorable entree--pan-roasted cod (a secret ingredient), spinach sautéed with garlic and capers, and roasted fingerling potatoes.


The five judges.


Getting up close and personal with the judges. Those extra people also bid on plates and ate the ones prepared by the other chef. More about Lamont and Leland's plates later.


A bit more with the judges.


My little Mama, smiling her special smile, enjoying this time with my sons and me just as much as we enjoyed it and being with her.


In review, the requirements were to make three demonstration dishes, using a different secret ingredient in two of those dishes, then prepare more of the same for the five judges to taste. At the end of an intense hour for the four cooks, Mama and I won the bidding competition for the demo dishes (a fundraiser for Food Safety in Tillamook County) and got to pick which chef's dishes we wanted to eat. That's a no brainer, right. While their food was delicious--we cleaned the plates in no time--the judges made the other guy the winner by 11 points.


And here they are, the two most important men in my life, Leland and Lamont, one-hundred-per-cent their father's sons.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sun rise and public art at my work building.


One January morning I walked my usual route from the bus shelter across the street, up to the corner to await the walk traffic signal, crossed and walked toward the building's entrance. Then, I say this lovely sight.


Here's the reason for the rosy glow on the brass panel and the brick wall.


This is the same bronze panel, photographed from across the street on February 20, 2009, during another swell sun rise.


Here's the reason for the golden light on the panel--I took this photo four minutes before as the bus headed across the Hawthorne Bridge towards my work building.

Read about the public art at my work building when you click here.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring at work.


Blooming trees line the east side of the street alongside the east end of the parking garage across the street from my work building. With such sunshine at lunch time, I figured I'd be smart to go outside and take a few photos. Here’s how the flowering trees and the sky looked April 26, 2011.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring in the Neighborhood


The dogwood on the apartment building's side street is blooming! Here’s how the blossoms looked May 14, 2011.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Something different, from October 25, 2008.


I wanted to post something different, completely different from basketball and my neighborhood. So, here it is, a store window display at Brooks Brothers, downtown Portland, on SW Morrison near Pioneer Courthouse Square. TriMet's MAX Red and Blue Lines traverse Morrison westbound at this particular point. What I like, in particular about this photo, is the story the three windows tell, in image and text.

The leftmost window features the word "Before ..." and a mannequin ironing a dress shirt, complete with a can of spray starch.

The center window features the words "Say good bye to your iron." and a galvanized trashcan stuffed with an ironing board, iron, and at least one unironed dress shirt.

The rightmost window features the words "The Brooks Brothers Miracle Non-Iron Dress Shirt 3 for $199" and a chrome-plated clothing rack loaded with more than ten dress shirts, hanging equidistant from one another.

From my side of the street, reflected in the windows and seen at the bottom of the photo, between the petunia planters and the stone curb across the street, you'll find among those gray bricks one of the rails that the MAX wheels rest on as the cars roll along--the perspective precludes the other rail's appearance in this photo. Trust me, the neither the rails nor the curb wave as the so wonderfully do here!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The new apartment building in my neighborhood, which is known as Kerns. I took this photo March 25, 2015.


After work on Wednesday, I got off the 12 bus and walked south on NE 20th in order to quickly take this photo before walking on home. This is five-story apartment building I mentioned in yesterday's post, the one with the parking lot which was already there in that space. I found this online from March 2, 2013, about plans for the building: The units will be mostly studios or one-bedrooms, although there may be a few two-bedroom units, and each will have a deck or patio, he said. He is Joe Westerman who owns the lot and made the decision to ditch the food trucks for the apartment building. I see nothing to make me think deck or patio. I wonder why that's seems to be the case. Elsewhere online I found in an blurb dated August 22, 2013, that the building is named 20e. Hmmm.

About the parking lot, I just found this online at the Kerns Neighborhood Association Web site, posted February, 2015: Neighborhood Notes Land Use: At our January meeting, Joe Westerman who is building the apartment complex at 20th & Everett (where the parking lot/Green Castle Food Cart Pod was) talked to us about Phase 2 of the building. He now owns the other half of the parking lot (on Davis) and will be building a second apartment building, which will have 56 units, 18 parking spaces and 19 bike spaces. It will look similar to what is currently being built but with a different pattern. It will have two levels, then the top two floors will be set back. They will plant more trees along 20th.

Interesting but not unexpected with developers, if you ask me; this is a huge change if I understand what I'm reading here below, in 2014 he doesn't mention building another apartment next to the one in the photo, he puffs up the parking possibilities, but, look back at the previous paragraph where he says there's a phase 2 which, again, if I'm reading this right, will be built on the parking lot you can see in the screen shot on yesterday's post. I'm basing my confusion on what I found on the Kerns Neighborhood Association's Web site, posted February, 2014: Update on Green Castle Food Cart Property @ 20th: We heard back from Joe Westerman who has plans to develop the former food cart pod into residential. He came to a meeting last year and showed us some plans. According to an email from one year ago, Joe told us: "I will do everything I can to maximize parking at my apartment community. I am installing steps to the ground floor units facing 20th so people can park on 20th and walk right into their unit rather than go around to the main building entrance. The parking on 20th is used very little so this is a good opportunity for me to make better use of it. I will still have the parking lot next door that we currently use for Green Castle customer parking. I think this will take a big load off the streets around my apartment community. I'm also hoping to install a Zip car space so people in my building and the neighbors will have access to ready transportation without having to own a car or look for a space to park it. We would like to have a dedicated space for a Zip Car. Every little bit helps. Lastly I will have at around 10 surface parking places on site which in addition to my other options will certainly add to our total parking solution."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 5, 2011, announcing what was to come. It didn't pan out. The Google Maps screen shot shows what's coming, in fact, it's almost finished now. I need to get out there and take a photo to show you.


With the Blue Diamond within walking distance of my studio apartment, where the food is excellent on a regular basis, I never felt the need to frequent the food carts that ended up inside the fence. Evidently not too many others did because, as I noticed in person, then read about online, the carts left and an apartment building began to be built in either 2013 or 2014.

Screen shot 2015-03-24 at 7.34.55 PM

So, all of that brown dirt area on the screen shot is a five-story apartment building with 47 units and surface parking there where you see the parking spaces marked on the pavement. If surface parking had not already existed, I seriously doubt the the developer would have included parking in plans for this building.